City Hall gardens get boost from Greening Greenfield volunteers

Staff Report

Published: 05-23-2023 1:05 PM

GREENFIELD — More than 50 native shrubs, grasses and flowering plants have found homes on either side of the City Hall entrance, following the efforts of Greening Greenfield’s Pollinator Group.

The project’s roots date back to the spring of 2022, when a detailed planting plan was discussed with the Mayor’s Office. However, last summer’s drought postponed much of the planting efforts, with Greening Greenfield volunteers only replacing the non-native, invasive burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) that flanked City Hall’s entrance with summersweet shrubs (Clethra alnifolia).

Last week, a half dozen volunteers assisted in the planting effort, with a goal of increasing native habitat for pollinators, birds and more, while also adding beauty. The Department of Public Works contributed aged wood chips that the volunteers used as mulch.

“We wanted to plant native species with a wide range of bloom times, both for the pollinators and for the enjoyment of visitors to City Hall,” Mary Westervelt, a member of Greening Greenfield’s Pollinator Group, said in a statement.

“A second goal in planting the gardens was to demonstrate to local gardeners that a beautiful home garden can be created using only native plants,” added fellow member Nancy Hazard.

The Pollinator Group promotes the planting and nurturing of “Native Plants Everywhere” because they provide pollen and nectar for native pollinators, and generally work well with other plants to improve habitat. By comparison, non-natives can supplant native species and reduce diversity in the environment

Volunteers contributed their time and energy, and many supplied native plants from their own gardens.

“We are fortunate to have good local native-plant nurseries in the area,” Westervelt said, “but it’s also great to learn from fellow gardeners what has worked in their gardens, and to adopt plants from their gardens into our own.”

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Those who would like to get involved with regular maintenance of the new gardens through the first growing season can get in touch with the Pollinator Group through the Contact Us page on Greening Greenfield’s website, greeninggreenfieldma.org.

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